Online 101: What is SEO?

Many people out there understand that there is an area in the digital and online marketing realm known as SEO, but does anyone actually know what this means?

The answer to the above is...some people do, many don't and there are many different definitions on what SEO means depending on who you are talking to (client or agency). 

Can't we just give you a simple definition?

Seeing as you asked so nicely, then here is how we view it. 

Note: we ultimately subscribe to a definition that is as closely aligned to fundamental marketing principles as possible. 

SEO is about driving your target market to your website over your competitors using digital techniques and content marketing to encourage greater goal conversion.

A goal conversion could be anything from getting a new lead and gaining additional sales enquiries through to a purchase occurring via your online store.

Why is SEO good (to have in the mix)?

For obvious reasons as implied in the definition, you can very clearly influence brand awareness and increase sales.

If done well, SEO can play a very important role in the marketing mix, being easily justified by the fact that it is highly measurable...I would even state that online is the most measurable form of marketing and for this reason, it is appealing as a solid strategic decision. A good SEO company focusses on ROI rather than just on keyword and search rankings.  

Another great advantage is that legitimate SEO techniques are 'sticky'. That means that the longer you invest in driving SEO results, the greater you remain ranked well for phrases (or solutions) to your target market.

Unlike Online Advertising (which only rewards you for budget spent on ad space) SEO'able phrases continue to rank well and drive website traffic and goal conversion (Organic Search).

With Online Advertising as soon as you remove the budget,  there is an immediate drop in website traffic directly attributed to the reduction in advertising budget (Paid Search or PPC). 

Is there anything I should consider before taking this on?

Yes. Like all forms of strategic marketing, you need to understand that key stakeholders in the organisation should support the strategy and feel as though they can contribute. 

One person internally is required (at minimum) on the project team (ideally you would use cross functional teams). This person needs to ensure that all company requested information gets to the online marketing team ensuring the SEO strategy is aligned with the marketing calendar and overall business objectives. 

You also need to understand that this is a long-haul ride. You can get some great early indicators within the first 3 months, however, your organisation should give it a minimum of 12 months. This highlights that SEO is all about time (time spent in researching and publishing content) and duration. 

Finally, in an ideal world Online Advertising coupled with SEO works really well. Much of the keyword research is similar and this is a natural add-on strategy given the efficiency that can be gained  to drive results. 

What exactly do you guys do? 

There is a heap of technical stuff that happens, such as, increasing site speed, page optimisation, call to action optimisation, URL structuring, content structuring, benchmarking and researching. 

However, the main outcome is the development of content (like a blog article or restructuring your website content) so that your audience is captivated enough to engage with you. 

Today, the likes of search engines such as Google are increasing becoming more advanced with their algorithms and everything is pointing to having to adopt fundamental marketing strategies.

For example, Google is now rewarding websites that are mobile responsive with content that is highly relevant and is that enticing that others feel compelled to share that content. 

The fundamentals behind successful SEO and online advertising are the same fundamentals applied to having a solid marketing and Public Relations (PR) strategy.

This is just another marketing tool, so it's just a matter of ensuring you have the right experts on your side to help you attract, convert and retain your website visitors. 

At Marketing SME we are passionate about problem solving. SEO is just another piece of the puzzle.